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The Bloody Truth

 Poisoning the planet every month simply is not a sustainable option.

As you may already know, most unsustainable sanitary pads can take 500 – 800 years to break down in the environment.

If you menstruate, you will probably do it around 450 times in your lifetime.  If you use sanitary pads or tampons every month, and so do all your menstruating friends and family members, imagine the mountain of used sanitary products you are all creating. Multiply that mountain by all the other menstruating folk in your street, your community, your state, your region … you get the idea!

Microplastics and endocrine disruption

All non-organic disposable sanitary products are dangerous for you and for all other living things. Pad and tampon manufacturers are not required to disclose the ingredients and chemical load in their products, even though they either are designed to go inside your body or fit flush against your sensitive tissues. Most types of non-organic pads and tampons have been found to be loaded with endocrine-disrupting chemicals such as parabens, phthalates and bisphenols, all of which can severely disrupt your hormones, cause foetal development issues and tumours.

Most non-organic pads and tampons are also up to 90% plastic in the form of polyester, polypropylene and polyethylene and that is one hell of a lot of microplastics heading into the earth, our ground water and the ocean. Then it becomes part of us, our placentas, our babies and all other life on earth.

Why do we keep on doing it?

Surveys show that most first-world people with vaginas know the deadly effects that non-organic disposable sanitary products have on themselves and the environment, but are still resistant to making the necessary changes to a healthier management system. Why?

Most of us just don’t like manually managing our blood. Let’s not beat around the bush (pun intended). It can be messy, it can have an odour we don’t like, we can feel embarrassed and worried about leaving a messy tell-tale sign. Our blood may represent: a difficult time we endure every month one-way or another, the time/s we didn’t get pregnant when we wanted to, a taboo topic we never talk about, or just really “gross us out!” Any of those things can make us want to deal with our ‘monthlies’ in the most out-of-sight and out-of-mind way possible. We are sorry about the environmental cost, but this is one unsustainable practice that is hard for many to change for the better.

What to do about ‘it’ !

If we care about the health of the environment and ourselves, there is simply no choice but to make a change. Using organic, instead of non-organic, disposable pads and tampons makes a huge beneficial difference. But even with organic solutions the environmental landfill cost is still high for most of us without high quality incineration options. And, what about the manufacturing resources wastage of single-use products?

But, as the old adage goes – moderation is key. If we aim to leave the lightest footprint on earth as we can, whilst still living comfortably and practically in our modern world, then what we do most of the time affords us the luxury of a more convenient solution when we really need it.

Solutions Made to Measure

All of us are different. Some of us don’t mind manually managing our monthly red evidence, others hate it. Some of us are totally comfortable touching our menstruating parts, and others wish they never needed to. Some are totally relaxed about dealing with inserting ‘things’ into our appropriate orifice and others are totally traumatised by the thought. We have all had different experiences, upbringings and influences, one size cannot fit all in this sensitive matter.

Thankfully, the wonderful problem-solvers amongst us have been working for years to offer modern solutions to the age-old dilemma of managing the mess for menstruating folk.

Most importantly, when we adopt the best way to solve the problem for ourselves, it will gift the key of helping to improve the options for others everywhere. As each one of us adopts a healthier and more ecologically sensitive monthly practice, demand is created, leading to improved products and their greater availability for everyone. From Ending Period Poverty movements, to better education and product availability in schools, to support for those in more restrictive and less affluent communities, better practices create ripple effects. Things change when things change. Let’s create as many ripples as we can.

TSUNO pads and liners 

“Care for yourself and the planet in comfort

Ecolateral Solutions To-Go

At Ecolateral, our job is to help to make it as easy as possible for you to live comfortably and sustainably. We research deeply into every solution and product we offer, because on a personal level, we know how hard it is to spend as much time as it takes to research the best sustainable solutions. There is so much to consider. Our job is to do that for you, so that your decisions are made easier. We are proud of our menstruation monthly solutions, please choose what you think will be right for you from our options , and we look forward to your feedback.

Organic Disposables

As we said earlier, it is what you do most of the time, that is most important from a personal and environmental wellbeing perspective. Sometimes though, it is not practical or comfortable to process your flow manually. Sometimes you really need to make a choice to go for the disposables. We believe the sustainable, healthy disposable options that we have selected for you are the best available. The brand is Tsuno, and Tsuno are special.

Tsuno Pads, Tampons and Liners

The first thing to say is that the Australian brand Tsuno, donate a huge 50% of their profits to charities and projects that empower, particularly in education and menstruation support. But the feel-good goes way deeper. Tsuno pads and liners are made from eco-friendly, sustainable bamboo, with a corn fibre top sheet and no chlorine or dioxin bleach is used in manufacturing. Bamboo’s fast growth-rate ensures low demands on resources and it has a natural resistance to pests and fungi. The result is products that are antibacterial, super absorbent, breathable, soft and comfortable. They are individually wrapped in biodegradable sleeves, and presented in recyclable cardboard boxes featuring beautiful, inspiring artists’ works.

Tsuno consider organic cotton a non-negotiable for their tampons. No pesticides, fertilisers or unhealthy farming practices are used. Tsuno tampons are certified organic by the Global Organic Textile Standard. Everyday Reusable Solutions For the days when travel or convenience, does not demand a disposable option, you have three choices. Reusable pads have been used for millennia, menstrual cups, or the relatively new and wonderful invention: period panties.

Reusable Pads and Liners We love Hannah:pads and liners! They are designed to use as you would a disposable, but they simply rinse out and wash in the machine with your underwear, lasting for many years if you care for them well. They come in eight different size and absorbency options to fit you and your flow just right. Visit our store to read about the individual options and to get introduced to the Hannah:pad wet bag. For your convenience this beautiful wet bag keeps your reusable pads in one place as you go about your day. Two compartments separate clean and used pads, held secure by a drawstring closure, perfect for popping in your handbag, backpack or luggage for travels. As with the reusable pads, the waterproof lining is TPU: Thermoplastic Polyurethane, which is preferable to Polyurethane Laminate (PUL) as a waterproof coating, as TPU uses heat without any solvents or further chemicals to laminate the fine coating of polyurethane to the fabric.

HANNAH pads and liners

“At Ecolateral we do the research so you don’t have to “

Menstrual Cups Do you believe it?

The first menstrual cups were made in the 1930s! Needless to say, they have taken some time to catch on, but when users are converted, they never look back. Pop in the cup (easy for most when you get used to it) and the cup does the rest. No mess, no loss of lubrication, easy to remove, rinse out and repeat. We have selected three different cup options for you: Lunette, AllMatters and the all-Australian Tom.
Lunette cups are from BPA free medical grade silicon. Lunette have been developing cup perfection for 15 years! They come in two cup sizes for light or heavy flows.
AllMatters Cups (formerly Organicups) are also made from medical-grade silicon and come in three sizes. AllMatters are active around the globe to empower sustainable management of menstruation.
Tom Organic cups are also 100% medical-grade silicon, come in two sizes and have unique finger indents for easier insertion and removal. The Australian Tom Period Cup also comes in a convenient little recycled plastic cup-case for easy sterilisation.
On our online store you will also find cup washes, wipes and sanitisers.

Period Undies

For many people, undies that absorb your flow, or light bladder release, are the ultimate monthly freedom machines. Our preferred brand choice for comfort and absorbency is the Pelvi Leakproof Underwear range, offering six sizes across three underwear styles. They are soft and comfortable, with built-in absorbency liners that also feature a TPU waterproof shield, offering excellent leakproof protection all day. Simply wear as normal underwear, rinse out at the end of the day and pop in the washing machine. That’s freedom! Check them out.

Save Money while you Save the Planet

Before we go, remember changing your period management expenditure from disposables to reusables, doesn’t only save the environment and your health, it also saves you a ton of money.
If you haven’t made the switch yet, c’mon, it’s time to change, visit us in store (SA only) or online and choose a solution to suit you.

LUNNETTE menstrual cups
PELVI Leakproof underwear

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Caroline is a creative maker, a community arts worker, and a storyteller. The Story Costumer is a magical dress shop where garments can be hired or tailor-made.

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